Vascularization of the developing chick limb bud: role of the TGFbeta signalling pathway

Neil Vargesson* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


The developing vertebrate limb has fascinated developmental biologists and theoreticians for decades as a model system for investigating cell fate, cell signalling and tissue interactions. We are beginning to understand the mechanisms and signalling pathways that control and regulate the outgrowth and formation of the limb bud into a differentiated identifiable limb by late embryogenesis. However, the mechanisms underlying the development and maintenance of the vasculature of the developing limb are far from being completely understood. The vasculature supplies oxygen, nutrients and signals to developing tissues, allowing them to develop and grow. Moreover, a lot of evidence recently points to molecules involved in morphological development also controlling vascular development. Thus understanding how the vasculature forms and is patterned in the developing limb may further our understanding of limb development. In this review I outline how blood vessels are formed and maintained and how the developing chick limb is vascularized. I also review the role of the TGFbeta superfamily signalling pathway in the development of the chick limb vasculature: in particular, how antagonizing TGFbeta signalling in the developing chick limb has shed new light on the role vascular smooth muscle cells play in vessel calibre control and how this work has added to our understanding of TGFbeta superfamily signal transduction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-103
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Anatomy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2003


  • Animals
  • Blood Vessels
  • Chick Embryo
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Extremities
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic
  • Signal Transduction
  • Smad7 Protein
  • Trans-Activators
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Vertebrates
  • angiogenesis
  • endothelial cell
  • limb development
  • SMAD7
  • TGF beta signalling
  • vascular smooth muscle cell
  • vessel calibre
  • blood-cell formation
  • endothelial growth factor
  • morphogenetic protein receptors
  • arteriovenous malformations
  • differential expression
  • pattern formation
  • mouse development
  • family members
  • SMAD proteins
  • wing bud


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